The Pocket Knife

As I remember it, the sharp, shiny steel and black pocket knife showed up at our house on Myers Avenue when I was about 8 years old. To this day, I am confused about where it came from, but my Dad showed it to me around my birthday and said it would be mine to keep when I turned 12.

Photo of my present Pocket Knife

My dad never went hunting or fishing, so I didn’t think the knife was directly from him. The main tools he had were for gardening or some house remodeling.  Once, he let me help build a dog house for our new puppy.

Photo of dog house, my sisters Margaret and Mary, and Brother Joe and our new puppy, Murphy..

Most likely, the pocket knife came from a sale when my Liechty Grandparents moved off the farm to Brussels St. in Archbold, Ohio. In any case, it was a great reminder of him, because with around 45 Liechty first cousins, I didn’t get to know him real well.  He always seemed bigger than life, and then he passed away when I was 7.

Unfortunately, having seen the knife and knowing it was forbidden fruit, caused me to poke around for it on occasion, when my dad was at work.  Voila, one day I found it in the back of Dad’s dresser drawer, in a fine little cardboard box, wrapped up with tissue inside.

I didn’t see any harm in carefully taking it out and admiring it, but before long, I wanted to see how it worked.  We lived beside the woods along Yellow Creek, and so I took it along exploring, practicing carving as I went.  The spear point went well, but the sling shot required a special pull stroke.

Since this had been an unauthorized, private adventure, I did not get the basic education in carving, especially Rule No. 1: Never, never, never carve toward yourself.  The knife slipped and cut to the bone at the base of my right index finger, which produced an impressive amount of blood.

I had to hustle in to the house to show mom.  She bandaged it and mentioned that Dad would be coming home soon.  The pain of the injury was exceeded by the spanking, but I still love pocket knives.


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